Fashion Business and Promotion - BA (Hons)

Course Overview

The essential course information

UCAS Code:
BA (Hons)
Full Time (3 years)
School of Fashion, Textiles and 3D Design
City Centre

Previously part of:

Birmingham Institute of Art and Design

Course Graphic - Fashion Retail Management BA (Hons)

Our Fashion Business and Promotion course is perfect if you'd love a career within the fashion industry, but not as a designer.

What's covered in the course?

This degree course combines both fashion and business skills to allow you to follow a career in fashion buying, visual merchandising, marketing, PR, events management or trend forecasting.

Throughout, you will explore a range of fashion industry subjects, take on work placements and gain events experience. You'll gain a high level of visual literacy and commercial business acumen tailored to the global fashion marketplace.

Taught by experienced fashion industry professionals, you'll balance creative and business modules, to gain both theoretical and commercial understanding of the industry.

Guest speakers have included buyers from George, stylists, marketing and PR industry managers and fashion bloggers.

Get commercial experience

You'll gain commercial awareness and activity through a series of live industry projects, industrial placements and competition at all levels. On top of this, past study trips have included study visits to Paris and Florence.

The first two years of the course allow you to explore the multi-faceted disciplines that are integral to the way that the fashion business operates.

The third year then allows you to refine your expertise through negotiated projects and tailor your work to become an expert in your chosen field. All the modules are course work based. 

“Thanks to the course I have really great writing skills and I can create PowerPoint presentations to a business standard. I feel presentation is absolutely key to success and I wouldn’t have got my job at Next without these skills.”

Lucy Beale

Why Choose Us?

  • Helps you become as versatile and dynamic as the industry itself.
  • Unlike other courses, we cover a variety of fashion business modules to ensure you gain a broad perspective of the fashion industry.
  • Provides creative and visual fluency, equipping you with the tool kit to operate in the competitive, international fashion market place.
  • Our academic staff all have industry experience, teaching and researching their specialist subjects, ranging from trend forecasting to international retailing.
  • Integrated work placements provide you with the essential experience needed to get ahead in their sector.


Download the Course Programme Specification

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Typical UK QualificationRequirements 2015/16

At the point of application, you must have GCSE at Grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications and/or experience will be accepted. Applicants will also need a good portfolio.

GCE A Level/ AS Level BBC at A-Level or 280 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A-Levels
Access to Higher Education Diploma Pass overall with 60 credits, 45 at Level 3 and 15 at Level 2. Must be in a relevant subject pathway
BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years) D*D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years) DMM - 280 UCAS points
BTEC Subsidiary Diploma/ National Award (6-units not including early years) D* or combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points
BTEC Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art and Design Distinction
International Baccalaureate Diploma 28 points overall
Irish Leaving Certificate 280 UCAS points - Higher Levels
Scottish Higher/ Advanced Higher 280 UCAS points
Welsh Baccalaureate (core plus options) 120 tariff points combined with other Level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 280 UCAS points

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

Unconditional Offers 2015/16

If you are a full-time undergraduate applicant for the 2015/16 year, and show particular potential, we may be able to make you an unconditional offer if you make us first choice and satisfy certain criteria. To be considered you must hold, or be predicted to achieve:

  • 300 tariff points or above from three A levels (equivalent to grades BBB or above)
  • or
  • be predicted DDM profile at BTEC level

You will also be required to attend an interview.

Learn more about unconditional offers >>

Typical EU/Non-EU (International) QualificationsRequirements 2015/16
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
International Baccalaureate Diploma (or equivalent, including internationally accredited Foundation courses). 28 points overall
Country-specific entry requirements and qualifications.

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

Learn more about BCUIC

How to Apply

Full Time: Apply through UCAS.
UCAS Code: W2N2.
Apply via UCAS

Non-EU (International) students:. There are three ways for international students to apply: direct to the University, through a country representative or through UCAS. Please read our guidance on how to apply.

UCAS Information

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.

UK, EU and international students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.

You submit an application via the UCAS website with a list of up to five courses. All choices are confidential during the application process so universities and colleges considering an application cannot see your other choices. Applications must be completed by mid-January of the year that you wish to start university.

You can monitor the progress of your application using the UCAS Apply system.

Fees and Finance

Fees for students from the UK or EU countries?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £9,000 per year
Fees for students from non-EU countries (International)?
Start Mode Duration Award Fees
Sep 2015 FT 3 years BA (Hons) £11,500 per year

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

You will be able to access printing and materials at minimal costs through our workshops and may need to purchase you own small tools. There are additional costs for national and international field trips, if you participate in these.

Financial Options and Advice

We have deliberately tried to set fees that reflect the cost of course delivery in order to help our students avoid debt.

Full-time students won't have to pay for tuition fees until after their studies - there are government tuition fee loans available. If you are a full-time student, after leaving university you will start to pay back your loan once you are earning over £21,000 a year, at a rate of nine per cent on any income above £21,000. So if you were earning £25,000, you would pay back nine per cent of £4,000, or £30 per month.

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis offers key facts on fees, loans and grants:

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

International Students

International Students at BCU

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK. Our reputation for excellence is soaring globally, thanks to the superb links we forge with industry, our international alliances, and our focus on practical, vocational learning.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)

International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.

BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally–recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.

Learn more about BCUIC

University Approach to Employability

Birmingham City University is committed to preparing students for successful employability and professional careers. We have an innovative approach to employability that will help you obtain an interesting and well-paid graduate job.

Read our Employability Statement to find out more.

Employment Opportunities

Our graduates work for companies such as Next, Topshop, ASOS, Tesco - F+F clothing, Sainsbury's - TU clothing, Claire's Accessories, Nars Cosmetics.

Our graduates progress into roles such as Buying, Marketing, Merchandising, Visual Merchandising, PR and Events.

We have very successful UK and overseas students in all of these areas. We also welcome applications from mature students.

  • 92 per cent of graduates are in work six months after leaving. This has been consistent over the past three years.
  • 50 per cent employed in managerial and professional roles, consistently in buying and PR.

Students carry out a three to six week placement during their second year. Students are expected to research roles and where they want to go, but receive support when searching for opportunities and preparing CVs and letters.

Full Time

About KIS data

From September 2012, all universities and colleges are publishing standardised information for all undergraduate courses in the form of a Key Information Set (KIS). The KIS data is designed to meet the needs of prospective students and allow for informed decision-making when choosing a university course.

Putting our students first

We pride ourselves on our student satisfaction levels which have risen from 73 per cent to 83 per cent between 2010 and 2012. Our dedication to improving the student experience is illustrated by our award-winning student engagement, our close links with business and industry and our £180 million investment in new facilities.

Employability facts

82.2 per cent of graduates from the School of Fashion, Textiles and Three Dimensional Design who responded to our survey entered either employment and/or further study. The average full-time salary for a leaver was £15,600. Employers hiring leavers from the School include Bravissimo and Burberry London, in positions such as Assistant Buyer and Pattern Cutter.

Working with your Students’ Union

Improving student satisfaction is a priority commitment shared by both Birmingham City University and its Students’ Union. In its strategic planning, the Union has pledged to be more accessible, more relevant and provide more opportunity to engage with a diverse student community.

The Students’ Union is already a key stakeholder in supporting an excellent teaching experience at Birmingham City University, through joint projects such as the Extra Mile Teaching Awards and the Student Rep scheme, which allows students to share their ideas on how they are taught.

As Birmingham City University moves towards a two campus strategy where it can better support enhanced learning and student support facilities across a two-mile radius, the Students’ Union will also be better able to implement its commitment to improve communication and engage with its valued student membership.

Course Structure

The course is unique in that it explores the roles of fashion professionals who play a key part in the fashion industry. These include trend forecasters, buyers, merchandisers, public relations, stylists, visual merchandisers, fashion event organisers as well as store management and fashion marketing.

Teamwork, communication skills, commercial awareness, aesthetic sensibility and keen observational skills are fundamental to commercial success to enable you to become a confident individual and co-operative team-worker in the fast moving and highly competitive world of fashion.

Almost 80 per cent of respondents to the National Student Survey praised the enthusiasm of Creative Arts and Design staff, and the clear way they explained their subject.

A multi-million pound investment into facilities now gives you a creative technological environment to rival any studio in the country.

Course Modules

All modules are coursework based and last 4-8 weeks. There are no exams, assessments include written reports, presentations, mood boards, research, concept boards or live events.

At Levels 4 and 5 there are opportunities for work placements, 3 weeks at Level 4 and 6 weeks in Level 5, giving invaluable hands on experience and the opportunity to build contacts for the future.

In February we have an overseas trip to Paris and visit Premiere Vision and a trips to New York is currently being planned. We also have several visits to London each year to take in new exhibitions.

There are also opportunities for you to participate in an exchange with Politecnico di Milano, Italy or Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada as part of your second year.

Year 1
  • Fashion Business Context – setting the scene for the year and the industry
  • Trend Forecasting – additionally learning InDesign
  • Buying and Merchandising
  • Digital Marketing Branding and PR
Year 2
  • Visual Merchandising
  • Industry Placement and Self Promotion – with three weeks' work experience
  • Event Management - live group project
  • International Retailing - looking at global retailing and expansion

Year 3
  • Competition - a choice of industry led briefs focusing on different career paths
  • Dissertation - a written piece of work researching subject area of your choice
  • Final major project - developing a concept with creative, financial and commercial outcomes
  • Self-promotion and the Future - exit package, outlining your professional credentials

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities. It’s no surprise that the Complete University Guide placed us in the UK top 10 for spending on facilities in both 2012 and 2013.


Prospective students from the UK
  • Take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to a range of questions about our courses and studying here.
  • If you need further help, you can contact the Course Enquiries Team online by using the Course Enquiry Form.
  • Alternatively, call us on +44 (0)121 331 5595.
Prospective students from outside the UK


For an overview of our undergraduate courses and a range of other information order a printed Prospectus or download a PDF of our Prospectus (16Mb).